Lawyers in Schools seeks to attract new pro bono volunteers

Employee volunteering programme Lawyers in Schools is attempting to increase the number of lawyers involved with educating children through an event held as part of National Pro Bono Week.

The programme places volunteer lawyers within schools to teach students aged 14 to 15 about how the law impacts their daily lives. Last year the organisation worked with 38 businesses and 500 volunteers to run a total of 180 sessions.

Lawyers in Schools project manager Dorothy Spencer said: “It’s focused on building young people’s legal capability and that goes from recognising when they have a legal issue to knowing how to navigate it.

“It also helps students learn how to articulate themselves well if they’re in a legal situation, become aware of their rights and responsibilities and know how the law affects their daily lives.”

The volunteer lawyers come from both in-house and private practice backgrounds and work with classes of up to 30 students at a time. The modules cover a variety of topics including social media, intellectual property and youth justice. The classes also cover issues that affect the students lives such as the legal implication of sexting and policing powers such as the rules surrounding stop and search.

As part of National Pro Bono week Lawyers in Schools is running a discussion on the benefits of volunteering for businesses. Solicitor general Robert Buckland QC is taking up the role as keynote speaker at the event.

Other speakers include executive assistant to BBC Worldwide general counsel Carolyn Frame, Centrica Energy legal counsel Sameer Karimbhai, JP Morgan assistant general counsel James Howells and Olswang head of corporate responsibility Linda Zell.

Lawyers from Addleshaw GoddardCMS Cameron McKennaFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Olswang, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Matrix Chambers have volunteered to talk to students as part of Lawyers in Schools.

Weil Gotshal will be hosting the seminar at its London office as part of pro bono week on 5 November.